MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil prices slip pending inventory report

Crude oil futures prices slipped modestly on the New York market Aug. 25, and analysts said traders expected a weekly government oil report scheduled for release Aug. 27 to show a gain in supplies at the hub at Cushing, Okla.

For the week ended Aug. 15, Cushing inventories climbed nearly 1.76 million bbl to a total of 20.15 million bbl, the Energy Information Administration said in its Aug. 20 petroleum report.

Meanwhile, international oil traders monitored ongoing turmoil in Libya where Islamist militias fought for control of the international airport in Tripoli.

Barclays Inc. analyst Michael Cohen said in a research note that the current worldwide supply of light crude appears sufficient to meet demand.

“Assuming that Libyan production remains at current levels or continues to grow, OPEC is likely to adjust output to balance the market prior to [its] meeting scheduled in November,” Cohen said of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Energy prices

The New York Mercantile Exchange October crude oil contract declined 30¢ on Aug. 25, closing at $93.35/bbl, and marking the lowest front-month settlement since January. The November contract was down 29¢ to $92.88/bbl.

The natural gas contract for September rose 9.7¢ to a rounded $3.94/MMbtu. On the US cash market, gas at Henry Hub, La., was up 7¢ to $3.92/MMbtu.

Heating oil for September delivery edged up less than a penny to a rounded $2.84/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for September delivery was up 1.13¢ to a rounded $2.75/gal.

The October ICE contract for Brent crude delivery gained 36¢ to $102.65/bbl. The November contract rose 32¢ to $103.36/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for September dropped 25¢ to $860/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $99.09/bbl on Aug. 25, down 10¢.

Contract Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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